Licence Exempt Personal Communications Services in the Frequency Band 1910–1930 MHz

April 1997

Table of Contents

Amended by:

1.0 Introduction

Industry Canada announced the designation of the 1910–1930 MHz band for licence exempt Personal Communications Services (PCS) devices on June 15, 1995, through the release of Gazette Notice DGTP-005-95/DGRB-002-95 entitled Policy and Call for Applications, Wireless Personal Communications Services in the 2 GHz Range, Implementing PCS in Canada. Further spectrum utilization policy provisions for the operation of licence exempt PCS devices in the 1910–1930 MHz band are outlined in this document.

Licence exempt devices are radio apparatus which are exempt under the Radiocommunication Act from the requirement to operate under a radio licence in specified radio frequency bands and which conform to appropriate Industry Canada spectrum policies, regulations and technical standards. Licence exempt PCS (LE-PCS) can be characterized as wireless, short range, personal communication devices which may be found in homes and offices. LE-PCS may provide a full range of services including telephony, wireless local area networks (LAN) and remote equipment monitoring. In some instances LE-PCS applications could be integrated with licensed PCS service offerings, such as a dual mode PCS handset where the handset functions as a cordless phone in the home or office.

This spectrum utilization policy addresses the principle issues governing the use of the 1910–1930 MHz band including eligibility requirements, transition rules for the displacement of incumbent fixed microwave systems and the mandate and functions of an industry organization to facilitate the introduction of LE-PCS devices in Canada.

2.0 Background

On November 5, 1994, the Department of Industry issued Gazette Notice DGTP-006-94 entitled Policy Discussion and Proposals Respecting the Future Provision of Personal Communications Services and Frequency Spectrum in Canada in the 2 GHz Range. In this notice the Department identified the use of 1850–1990 MHz frequency band for PCS in Canada and further identified the 1910–1930 MHz band for licence exempt PCS applications. At the same time a moratorium on the licensing of new fixed microwave stations was placed on the entire PCS spectrum range, 1850–1990 MHz.

Respondents to the discussion paper supported the use of the 1910–1930 MHz band for LE-PCS devices for a variety of reasons including the practical benefits of aligning with the United States. Other key points that prevailed in this consultation process include the following:

  1. Further consultation is required on the possible need and role of an industry organization to assist in the deployment of LE-PCS in Canada.
  2. An etiquette governing the technical operational compatibility of LE-PCS devices, similar to the Winforum etiquette of the United States, is required.
  3. There was little agreement on the transition mechanism, notification process and the notification period.

Industry Canada announced a policy framework and call for applications for the introduction of PCS on June 15, 1995, through the publication of Gazette Notice DGTP-005-95/DGRB-002-95 and the release of a document entitled Policy and Call for Applications, Wireless Personal Communications Services in the 2 GHz Range. In addition, this policy document outlined a specific spectrum transition policy and rules for the existing fixed microwave stations, to permit the operation of PCS systems in the 1850–1910 MHz and 1930–1990 MHz bands. Regarding LE-PCS, the Department confirmed the designation of the 1910–1930 MHz band for LE-PCS and further subdivided the band as follows:

  • 1910–1920 MHz      Asynchronous communication devices (eg. data)
  • 1920–1930 MHz      Isochronous applications (eg. voice)

Also, within Section 7.5 of the PCS Policy document, the following points were raised regarding the introduction of LE-PCS:

  1. Initially there may be sufficient spectrum in certain geographical areas to introduce non-nomadic licence exempt devices. ("Non-nomadic" refers to a device whose spectrum usage can be identified and controlled in a given area.) In some areas, it may be possible to coordinate LE-PCS devices with existing fixed microwave stations.
  2. The operation of nomadic LE-PCS devices may not be possible until spectrum is made available country-wide.
  3. An industry organization could play an important role in the introduction of PCS devices including the transition process.
  4. Industry Canada concurred with the general view of industry that further consultation was required, particularly in the fixed microwave transition matter.

In June 1995, Industry Canada asked the Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) to establish a special committee to address LE-PCS issues. Specifically, the Department requested recommendations on the transition process, and the mandate and structure of an industry organization that would oversee the introduction of LE-PCS in the 1910–1930 MHz band. This committee met on a number of occasions in the late summer and fall of 1995 and issued a final report, with recommendations, to the Department in November 1995. The report was entitled Licence Exempt Personal Communications Services, Recommendations of the Radio Advisory Board of Canada.

The special committee of the RABC recommended that an industry organization be created, independent of Industry Canada, whose mandate is primarily to coordinate the industry spectrum needs for the implementation of LE-PCS devices in the 1910–1930 MHz band. The organization would identify specific microwave assignments that need to be displaced and request, with appropriate justification, Industry Canada to issue the appropriate notices. Further reference to the recommendations contained in this report are made in later sections of this policy document.

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